Monday, March 14, 2011

JUST GAMING AROUND - Small World with my son (or, How To Get Thoroughly TROUNCED by a 7 yr old)

My son was sick this weekend but he still wanted to play some games, so who was I to deny him? We played Micro Mutants: Evolution (one of his favorites I think) and I added the Advanced rules for variety and we had a great time (but I won). Then, I taught him San Juan (in preparation for Race for the Galaxy which he really wants to play) and he did very well scoring 25 to my 34 points - he really picked up on the game quickly and he never asked me what any particular card did, he just kept building away and he got excited when he built a 5 point monument! I was very impressed! (but I won).

Finally, I mentioned he'd probably like Small World. My wife had gotten it for me for Christmas and I hadn't even opened it yet. He was very intrigued by the artwork and so we cracked it opened and started punching it. He organized the race tiles into the tray while I punched and then starting reading up on the rules (even though I've played a couple of times before, I hadn't actually run the game)

So, I explained the rules, selected a sample race to show how a turn would go, and he seemed to understand and didn't have any specific questions.

I suggested he go first and he said I should go first (I presume so he could see again how it went). I insisted he go first as the first race was the Underworld Ratmen and would give him ton of units to start with and easier inroads into caverns. So, he selected it and proceeded to occupy a good number of areas.

I then selected Spirit Elves. I figured I would decline them quickly then move on to the next race. Unfortunately, my son proceeded to stomp on my elves with his Ratmen! The dirty little rat ;) ! The fact that he immediately started attacking rather than going for easier territory scares me a bit.....

Anyhow, I felt that declining them now when I had all the units in hand wasn't best yet, so I advanced them further into 'greener' pastures. Of course, he started stomping me YET AGAIN! Arggh! This proceeded for another turn (sheesh, I really should have declined after the first turn) and he continued to get a good number more points than me.

He decided to decline his Ratmen and I decided to stick it out once more with the Elves before I decline. BAD MISTAKE. Somehow he had focused in on paying up for the Merchant Amazons (just the race I was eyeing myself). Little did I realize how much more powerful this was than I first noticed with them being Merchants and getting an extra point PER REGION! YIKES! Well, by this time he had overrun half the board with his declined Ratmen and the other half with his Merchant Amazons garnering him at least 15+ points per turn! And I was barely struggling to even stay on the board with his relentless attacks, even when I had them stacked 3 or 4 high!

I next went for Swamp Giants which I thought might let me get into a mountain and stomp on his Amazons a bunch, then pile up for the next round (and also score a couple of extra points for the swamps). Big mistake as I bearly put a dent in his empire and he proceeded to smash my Giants with his Amazon hordes. I quickly declined them then went for Stout Sorcerers figuring I could take out a bunch of the Ratmen using the special ability and hit them while they were down (and finally get them off the board), then immediately decline them so I could get another race on the board for round 9.

Well, I forgot an important rule - when you decline your next race the previous one goes away (perhaps the Spirit Elves lulled me into forgetfulness). Anyhow, the next turn he declined the Amazons and the rest of his Ratmen disappeared from the board (i.e. I just attacked a dying race). I must have taught him the rules correctly because he KNEW this was going to happen and seemed totally fine with it. GAH!

At this point I was actually a little annoyed. Probably because he kept saying "I have so many 10's! I don't even have any 1's to pay up for another race!" My word, what have I done?! I have created a monster in my son!

Well, I finally got to buy up to the Wealthy Skeletons but that only diminished the value of the wealth although it gave me some numbers for moving into the empty areas of the board (unfortunately, I really needed to move into OCCUPIED areas for the full benefit).

He finished up with the Forest Ghouls and tacked on a few more points as did I with my Skeletons grabbing a bunch of vacant land.

During counting, he kept saying, "Wow, I have a lot of 10s!"  *sigh*

(needless to say, he won)

Finally tally: Jacob: 107, me: 62

I think we need a rematch........or maybe we should just play San Juan or Micro Mutants again...


  1. I feel your pain! My 13yo son gloats because he is 3-0 with me in War of the Ring. Arrgh!

    (Of course, he will only play Sauron...)

  2. LOL kids. Just too smart for their own good sometimes. Adults tend to underestimate kids, especially their own but they have the same capacity for being successful.


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